Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) plans to spend roughly $185 billion over the next five years to develop new energy supplies in anticipation of growing demand.
In a presentation at the New York Stock Exchange, Exxon Mobil Chairman and Chief Executive Rex W. Tillerson said that even with significant energy-efficiency gains, the company expects global demand will rise 30% by 2040 from 2010 levels.
As a result, the Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded energy company, plans to spend about $37 billion a year through 2016, Tillerson said.
Exxon expects that electricity demand will make natural gas the fastest growing major energy source, with oil and natural gas expected to meet 60% of energy needs over the next three decades.
The oil-and-gas giant had indicated in late January that its has no plans to curtail gas production–in contrast with a number of its rivals–even as analysts predicted that prices could remain at historically-low levels through next year.
Still, a growing percentage of Exxon’s roughly land-based drilling rigs in the U.S. are being shifted to explore underground formations believed to hold large quantities of liquid fuels that can fetch higher prices than gas, such as ethane, propane and butane.
Tillerson on Wednesday said a total of 21 major oil and gas projects will begin production between 2012 and 2014. This year and next year, Exxon expects to start up nine major projects and anticipates adding more than 1 million net oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2016.
-By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires